Willem van Kemenade
Website: www.willemvk.org
E-mail: [email protected]
Growing Convergence and Cooperation or
Increasing Competition and Rivalry ?
Leergang Topmanagement Defensie
14 Februari 2006
China on the Global Geostrategic, Economic
and Energy Scene
China and Northeast Asia (Japan, Korea)
China and Southeast Asia (ASEAN)
China, South- and Central Asia
China, Russia, Europe, the US/NATO
China and Africa/Latin America
China, the United States and East Asian
Hu Jintao (62), Ideologically
Rigid, Cautious Apparatchik
Initially, 2002, hope for new wave of political reforms.
However, suppression of debate and focus on rural
poverty, government austerity and anti-corruption.
Worries about people’s power take-overs in Ukraine,
Georgia and Kygyzstan and rebellion in Uzbekistan.
Crackdown on Internet, (foreign) media and NGO’s.
Re-centralization of state- and party-power so as to
maintain stability and order, ahead of the 2008
“Peaceful Rise (or Development)” rebuking the US
Neo-Cons and Japanese rightists, who see China as a
Essentials of
Foreign Policy
Peaceful Rise - Avoidance of conflict with the US,
and Japan.
Multipolarity – Develop close relaties with other
centers of power, especially the European Union.
Give priority to economic development for another
few decades.
Global hunt for oil, gas and raw materials
Tao guang ~ Yang hui: Hide one’s capacities and
bide one’s time (Deng Xiaoping).
Is there a “China Threat ?”
China is a regional economic, political and
military power. American hardliners, the “Blue Team”,
(a.k.a. dragon slayers) the neo-cons, the religious
right, regard China as a military threat.
Protectionists in the US Congress, Labour Unions and
some in (South-) Europe increasingly see China as an
economic threat.
Claims to Taiwan are often mis-represented as
expansionism, but are in fact irredentism.
New “ideology” is nationalistic mix of Neo-Confucian
and Sino-Socialist values. Cautious conservatism.
Opposition to US hegemony and restoration of “Pax
Sinica” in Asia is long term strategic goal.
From: Zbigniew Brzezinski, The Grand Chessboard: American
Primacy and its Geostrategic Imperatives, Washington DC, 1997
A China-Centred World
At the annual session of the National People’s Congress every
March, China announces the increase in its national defense
spending. In 2005 the icrease was 12.6 % to $ 29.9 bn.
The increase was 11.6 % in 2004, 9.6 % in 2003, 17.6 % in 2002
and regular double-digit increases in the decade before that.
Some Western experts estimate that the real size of China's military
spending is 3 to 5 times the official number, placing it third behind
the United States and Russia. China’s substantial arms
purchases in Russia and Israel are not included.
The combined defense budgets of EU members - $175 bn exceed the military budgets of China, Japan, and Russia combined.
The US' nearly $500 bn budget for the current fiscal year, exceeds
the aggregate total of the rest of the world.
Rumsfeld on China
At an Asian security conference in Singapore in June 2005,
Rumsfeld argued that China's defense budget threatened not only
Taiwan and U.S. interests, but also nations across Asia.
"China's defense expenditures are much higher than Chinese
officials have publicly admitted. It is estimated that China's is
the third-largest military budget in the world, and now the
largest in Asia. Since no nation threatens China, one wonders:
Why this growing investment ?"
The latest US Quadrennial Defense Review, published earlier this
month (February 2006) listed an array of high end military
capabilities that China is investing in. They include electronic and
cyber-warfare, counter-space operations, ballistic and cruise missiles,
advanced integrated air defense systems, next generation torpedoes,
advanced submarines, land and sea-based strategic nuclear
missiles, and unmanned aerial vehicles.
China and its major arms
suppliers: Russia and Israel
Since the 1990s, Russia has supplied China with SU 27 and SU
30 fighters, submarines and Sovremenny destroyers.
During the 1980s, Israel has been a “covert” supplier of advanced
military technology, estimated at $ 4 bn to China, dodging US
Israel came under US pressure in 2000 to scrap a $250 million
deal to sell China the Phalcon, an airborne radar system
equipped with advanced Israeli-made aeronautics on board a
Russian-made plane.
Only when the US Congress threatened to cut the $2 billion aid it
gives Israel annually, Israel buckled. Israel had to pay $ 350
million compensation to China.
Acoording to US DIA, Israel resold Patriot missile technology to
China and says, China’s F 10 fighter is a copy of the Israel Lavi.
Is War over Taiwan
imaginable ?
Majorities in the US, Japan and Taiwan prefer the status quo of
“no independence, no reunification, no war, joint economic
development and some integration”.
The US wants to maintain its dominance over both Japan as a
satellite ally and Taiwan as an unrecognized protectorate, as
the twin pillars of its military hegemony in Northeast Asia.
Hardline minorities on several sides think they will benefit from a
war, which they assume, the US/Japan/Taiwan will win.
One Japanese pro-Taiwan hardliner: “In the coming years, public
opinion and the Congress of the US will be the ‘dictator’ of the
world, stronger than the president.”
Public opinion in Taiwan increasingly favors reconciliation with
China and the challenge to China of pro-independence president
Chen Shui-bian is only supported by a dwindling minority.
Regional Relative Weight in the
World Economy
Europeans are recognizing that in terms of economic
muscle and trading influence, the world is rapidly
coalescing into three blocs: America, Greater Europe,
and a China-centered Asia.
East Asian countries, including China, account
for 75 % of Japan's GDP.
In comparison, Central Asian countries Kazakhstan,
Kyrgyzstan, Tadjikistan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan,
Afghanistan account for 5 % of China’s GDP.
Latin American countries account for 15 % of the
United States' GDP.
East Europe accounts for a mere 8 % of EU GDP.
China’s GDP Growth:
No Damned Lies but Underestimates
In January, the National Bureau of Statistics lifted the
growth of GDP by an average of 0.5 % a year between
1993 and 2004 to reflect the results of a census, which
found that the economy in 2004 was 17 % larger than
previously reported.
China's GDP in 2004 was nearly $ 2 trillion, not the $1.65
trillion previously reported. With its GDP up 17 %, China
was the 4th largest economy in the world last year.
GDP was $ 2.251 trillion in 2005 or $ 1.700 per capita.
The upward revision has been expected since the NBS
completed the first national economic census mid-year.
10m Data collectors across the country registered large
hubs of business not picked up in conventional counting.
The China Trading Superstar
is provoking Protectionist
Sentiment in both EU and US
During 2005, exports still grew by 28 % to $ 762 bn but import
growth plunged by 2 % to $ 660 bn. Record surplus of $ 102 bn.
About half the country’s imports go into making exports
Surpluses are fanning the flames of protectionist sentiment in
Europe and the US. In the latest flare-up, the European
Commission is under pressure from EU manufacturers to impose
anti-dumping duties on imported Chinese shoes.
The EU and US should focus not on sectoral protection, but on coordinated global macroeconomic adjustment encouraging China to
boost domestic demand, modernise its inefficient financial system,
reduce the need for savings and let the renminbi appreciate.
(Financial Times 16-1-06).
Foreign Trade Continues to Soar
Exports b$
Imports b$
Growth %
Chinese exports more than doubled in just over five years. In
contrast it took British exports 12 years to double in the 1840s,
Germany ten years in the 1960s and Japan seven years in the
China’s Global
Technology Position
China’s role in the world economy is largely defined by
its participation in global production networks, set up by
others, the Multinational Corporations (MNCs).
Their dominant role derives from their control over standards
and intellectual property. The big question is whether
manufacturing and trading giant China, will also become a
technology giant.
China now spends 1.4 % of GDP on R&D annually. The
OECD average is 2.3 %
85 % of high tech exports are from foreign invested firms,
which employ managerial skills and proprietary technologies
of MNCs.
China is in a “patent trap”, that requires it to pay substantial
royalties to the patent owners out of the sales of its
Global Scramble
for Energy
An unprecedented need for resources is now driving China's
foreign policy
Twenty years ago, China was East Asia's largest oil exporter.
Now it is the world's 2nd largest importer.
Last year, it alone accounted for 31 % of global growth in oil
But it still imports only 12 % of the energy it consumes,
compared with 40 % for the US and 80 % for Japan.
For every US $ worth of output, Chinese energy consumption is
4.3 times that of the US, 7.7 times of Germany and 11.5 time of
Anticipating a military conflict with the US, China is considering
to build pipelines to the Indian Ocean through Burma, Thailand
or Bangla Desh, and/or to the Arabian Sea through Pakistan.
China Number Two Oil
Importer, but State Oil
Majors not Popular Abroad
Major oil (and gas) deals in Russia, Kazakhstan, Iran, Saudi-Arabia,
Indonesia, Australia, a dozen African countries, Venezuela and
tentatively in Canada.
State oil majors compete in market, dominated by multinationals for a
century; pay above market with state support for strategic reasons
and thus drive up prices further.
Russia’s Angarsk pipeline to China’s petro-city of Daqing was
diverted to its Pacific port of Nakhodka, to supply Japan.
Most spectacular setback was CNOOC’s failure to buy UNOCAL, due
to Congress’ opposition to the “China Threat”.
Recently, shareholders of Hong Kong-listed CNOOC rejected
politically sensitive oil deals in Sudan and Iran. However, last week
CNOOC bought a large $ 2.3 bn stake in a Nigerian oil- and gasfield.
China: A Regional Power with some Global Influence
and the Ambition to become a Two-Ocean Country
Could Sino-Japanese
energy-rivalry lead to
military conflict ?
Tension between Beijing and Tokyo is increasing over gas reserves in
the East China Sea. The Japanese Defense Agency revised its
security strategy in late 2004 on the assumption that conflicts over
resources could escalate into war.
Japan redeployed its forces away from northern Japan and the
containment of Russia, to Okinawa and the containment of China.
And last April, after Tokyo awarded two Japanese companies the right
to drill for oil and gas in a disputed area of the East China Sea, China
argued that competition over the East China Sea was "only a prelude
in the international Sino-Japanese energy-game”.
On October 1, Japan proposed a "comprehensive and final solution" to
the long-running dispute.
However, PM Koizumi’s visited the Yasukuni Shrine again on October
17, plunging bilateral relations in crisis again.
East Pipelineistan
Gwadar, Pakistan
New focal point for strategic rivalry
between the US, China and India
China and the US have gotten into a major contest for the
Gwadar port in Pakistan.
China partly financed Gwadar’s construction in response to the
American presence in Afghanistan and Pakistan, and to monitor
US activity in the Middle East, Indian naval movements in the
Arabian Sea, and future Indo-US maritime cooperation in the
Indian Ocean.
China has so far paid $ 200 m of the $ 1.16 bn cost of Gwadar.
Gwadar is on Pakistan's Arabian Sea coast, 72 km from Iran. It
is near the mouth of the Persian Gulf and 400 km from the Strait
of Hormuz, through which 40 % of the world’s oil passes.
China has put together a “string of pearls” from the Gulf to
South-China. Gwadar is the westernmost pearl which should
also help transform the economy of its landlocked Xinjiang
Iran and China:
Two old Asian Empires
Who don’t accept bullying by the US
Iran already accounts for about 12 % of China's oil imports. In
October 2004, state-controlled Sinopec, one of China's three
major oil companies, signed an oil and natural gas agreement
with Tehran that could be worth as much as $70 billion -- China's
biggest energy deal yet with any major OPEC producer.
Beijing committed to develop the giant Yadavaran oil field and
buy 250 million tons of LNG over the next 30 years; Tehran
agreed to export to China 150,000 barrels of oil per day, at
market prices, for 25 years.
As Beijing's search for resources prompts it to reinforce relations
with Iran, Myanmar, and Sudan, China is challenging the United
States' moral hegemony and its ability to check states whose
records it abhors.
China’s Policy on the
Iran Nuclear Issue ?
Western efforts to refer Iran to the UNSC for sanctions are viewed sceptically
by China and Russia. Russia favors a compromise by offering to enrich Iran’s
uranium for use in civilian nuclear reactors.
China agrees that Iran should not have nuclear weapons, but differs with
Washington over how to prevent it and how fast a solution has to be found.
Beijing has argued vigorously that continued negotiations are the best way to
resolve the dispute with Iran, as well as the one involving North Korea.
If Iran avoid sanctions now, and be allowed to develop its nuclear program,
Beijing fears this would prompt North Korean leader Kim Jong-il to become
even more obstructive in future talks over Pyongyang's nuclear program. This
would endanger China's carefully crafted position of a peace broker on the
Korean Peninsula and present the Chinese leadership with a real nuclear
threat across its border.
Agreeing to UN sanctions would potentially destroy the value of many
investments Beijing has made. Chinese companies have signed long-term
contracts valued at $200 billion, making China Iran's biggest oil and gas
West Pipelineistan
Australia has become
China’s Major Supplier
of Iron Ore, Oil and Gas
Despite Australia’s military alliance with the US, China has
become a larger trade partner than the US – iron, coal, gas.
Starting in 2006, Australia has agreed to export to China,
some $1 billion worth of LNG per year for 25 years. Such
deals are enhancing China's soft power in Australia.
51 % of Australians surveyed believe that a free-trade
agreement with China would be good for Australia (only
34 % think well of the existing U.S.-Australian FTA).
And 72 % agreed with Australian FM Alexander Downer
when he said in 2003 that Washington should not
automatically assume that Australia would help it defend
Taiwan against a Chinese military attack.
China in Rivalry with
the US for Canada’s
Alberta Tar Sands
Energy diplomacy has also prompted China
to seek access to the massive tar sands of
Alberta. Since late 2004, Beijing and Ottawa
have concluded a series of agreements for
developing Canada's natural gas sector, its
vast oil sands deposits, and its uranium
Last April, PetroChina and the Canadian giant
Enbridge signed a MoU to build a $ 2 bn
pipeline that would carry oil to the Canadian
west coast for shipment to Asia. Without
Chinese investment, the fields would remain
The deal could create tensions between the
US and China, as well as the US and Canada,
particularly since VP Cheney's 2001 energy
policy report stressed the importance of the
tar sands to U.S. energy security.
Latin America: China’s New
Oil Frontier in the US’s Backyard
Beijing has also been active in Latin America. Brazil's
development minister visited Beijing nine times in 2003 and
2004. President Hu toured the region in November 2004, during
which he announced $20 bn in new investments for oil and gas
exploration and other projects.
During his visit to Latin America and the Caribbean last
January, Vice President Zeng Qinghong signed various trade
and oil-supply agreements with Venezuela.
According to the Financial Times, trade between China and
Latin America has quintupled since 1999, reaching almost $ 40
bn by the end of last year.
In 2004, about 40 % of China's outgoing foreign direct
investment went to Latin America, for example, and on a trip
that year, Hu persuaded Brazil and Argentina to grant China
"market economy status”.
China Dominant Foreign
Oil Power in Sudan
Half of China’s oil imports
are from the ME, half from
It is China’s strategic policy
to get oil from anywhere,
particularly there where the
US is not in control.
In 1997 US sanctions
banned US oil-companies
from Sudan.
CNPC poured hundreds of
millions in Sudan’s oil
industry, took a 40 % stake
in Sudan’s “Greater Nile”,
constructed oil fields, a
refinery and pipelines.
Sudan, formerly an oilimporter now earns $ 2 bn
on exports.
China’s Hunt for Oil in Africa
Potential Clash with US and EU !
Africa nations including Sudan, Chad, Libya, Nigeria, Algeria,
Gabon and Angola supply China with some 25% of its oil-imports
Beijing imports 60% of Sudan's oil, a quarter of Angola's and an
increasing percentage from Equatorial Guinea (in exchange for
arms), Nigeria and Gabon.
In Sudan, Beijing's financial and military support for the Khartoum
government during its civil war and genocide in Darfur coupled
with Chinese attempts to water down UN resolutions targeting
Sudan led to serious tensions with the US and EU.
In 1997 US sanctions banned US oil-companies from Sudan.
From Sudan, China plans to expand to Nigeria through Chad.
"Does China want to be seen as the defender of rogue states,
the more aggressive seeker of Africa's natural resources, without
regard to transparency, development and stability there ?"
Japan’s Relative Economic Decline
has been reversed by China
Japan is the 2nd and China the 4th largest ecnomy
and the fastest growing with a population 10 times
Japan’s and an expanding workforce, that is willing to
work hard for 5% of the Japanese wage-level.
For much of the 1990s, China sucked manufacturing
jobs out of Japan. But recently, China's boom is
contributing to Japan's economic recovery and
actually creating jobs in Japan.
In 2004, China accounted for 20.1 % of Japan's total
foreign trade, compared with an 18.6 % share for the
US. Japan's trade with China rose to a record $213.2
billion in 2004, outstripping the $ 197 bn with the US.
“An East Asian Cold War”
Masashi Nishihara
Senior figures in Japan openly express hope that China will
disintegrate: “If Taiwan is not integrated into China, that will be a
great favor to our defense”.
“We will definitely support US intervention to defend Taiwan …..
If we have to choose between the US and China, Japan will
choose the US. That’s the worst situation to arise”.
“Tensions will continue for some time. I cannot see even ten,
twenty years from now, we will become good friends. We will
have huge trade, summit meetings etc. but tension will continue.
Like during the Cold War, the Soviet Union and the United States,
two very different powerful empires. They could never get really
close. But there was détente, disarmament, reduction of tensions
etc. They managed to be able to coexist, without fighting. Maybe
something like that can develop between China and Japan.
Background to the
“Six Party Talks”
Washington had become alarmed by the progress of SouthKorea’s “Sunshine Policy” with the North – linking North and
South by big infrastructure-projects, setting up investment-zones
in the North and even de-mining the Demilitarized Zone, which
the US refused to approve. On top of this came a conciliatory
approach towards Pyongyang of America’s most obedient ally,
Japan. This had to be stopped.
Not ready for a preemptive strike on North-Korea in the run-up of
the Iraq War, Washington decided to cook intelligence and to
mobilize a coalition against Pyongyang, the “Six Party Talks” not
so much for negotiations as for a “diplomatic tribunal” to
pressurize North-Korea and persuade the other participants to
agree with America’s hardline and join Washington in imposing
Selig Harrison, Did North Korea cheat ? Foreign Affairs,
January/February 2005
America yields to
Chinese leadership
on North-Korea
After 13 months absence, N. Korea returned to Beijing on July
27, 2005 for another round of negotiations about a possible end
to its nuclear weapons programme.
A meaningful step forward was taken when the US after years of
public insults and threats, conveyed to Pyongyang that it
recognized N. Korea as a sovereign country and had no
intention of invading it.
By September, China intensified the pressure on the US to
extend some trust to N. Korea, backing Pyongyang's right to a
peaceful nuclear energy programme once it dismantles its
weapons and returns to the international nuclear nonproliferation treaty. China opposed sanctions against the North.
Then on September 19, N.Korea agreed to give up all its
nuclear weapons programs in exchange for oil and food aid and
diplomatic recognition by the US and Japan.
South-Korea’s Volatile
Relationship with China
Korea’s close historical relationship with China has been
deepening as the Cold War relationship with the US was further
cooling after Bush’ derailing of the “Sunshine” policy and the
“Axis of Evil” rhetoric. Seoul relied on Beijing for handling NorthKorea.
However, an ancient history issue cooled the relationship in 2004
when Chinese scholars asserted that the ancient kingdom of
Koguryo (57 BC – 668 AD) was part of Chinese history.
Since late 2005, the Six Party talks have lost momentum again, due
to US and North-Korean foot-dragging.
South-Korea is now worried about Chinese “colonization” of the
North and adding it to N.E. China (Manchuria) as a 4th province.
China and S. Korea are now competing for economic influence in
the North. Chinese influence is perhaps the only factor that could
lead to N.Korean economic reform.
Sino-Russian Strategic
Convergence during the 1990s
Frustrated and humiliated by US-hyperpower, China and Russia
together with Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tadjikistan, set up
the “Shanghai Five” in 1996 to jointly stabilize Central Asia.
The “Shanghai Cooperation Organization” replaced the
“Shanghai Five” June 15, 2001. Uzbekistan joined as a new
member. The six signed the "Shanghai Treaty on Cracking
Down on Terrorism, Separatism, and Extremism.“ .
This multilateralism was unsettled by the US intervention in
Afghanistan in late 2001, which Russia welcomed.
China however, accused the US of using military action in
Afghanistan “to seize the chance to expand its military presence
in Central Asia”. in addition to the US-presence in Korea, Japan,
Taiwan and in SE Asia.
The Secretariat of the SCO is based in Beijing.
The Impact of “9-11”
on Chinese and
Central Asian Security
The war on terror has loosened China's grip on the geostrategic
zone to its west. China fears that the US will dominate the
Eurasian heartland for the long haul.
By uprooting Al-Qaeda in Afghanistan, the Bush Administration
has also weakened China's influence in Pakistan and the
Persian Gulf region.
Presidents Putin and Hu Jintao have increasingly shown their
dissatisfaction with the US military presence.
Beijing saw Karshi-Khanabad, in Uzbekistan, and Manas, in
Kyrgyzstan as US bases for the long term containment of China.
After US protests against the Andizhan massacre in Summer, the
Karimov regime ordered the US to leave the base.
Common Interests are: “Beating Terrorism”
but Politico-Military Strategies Diverge
Perhaps the single common interest of China, Russia
and NATO is to prevent militant “Wahabist” Islam to
achieve domination of the “Arc of Instability” (the
Eurasian belt stretching from Xinjiang across Central
Asia, Pakistan, Iran, the Caucasus, the Caspian
region to the Middle East) and beat terrorism.
Russian-Chinese and US-European interests in the
“Arc of Instability” diverge in the realm of human
rights and democratization. This is not a priority for
Russia and China and in their perspective, imposition
of “instant democracy” like the US is aiming in
Iraq will only trigger more instability.
Russia’s “Warming” to
NATO followed by China
Despite deep misgivings over NATO’s Kosovo Bombing
Campaign Russia resigned itself to NATO’s Eastern
expansion and signed the Rome Declaration on May 28,
2002, establishing the NATO-Russia Council.
With four members of NATO’s “Partnership for Peace”
and of SCO on its borders, China’s strategic thinking is
also evolving towards collective security.
Having joined the WTO, perhaps it was time to join the
“World Security System” as well.
Beijing probably had also come to view NATO, at least in
part, as a potential instrument for influencing its
European members to slowing U.S. “hegemonic”
Evolution of the NATOChina Link
1972-1985: Partners in opposing Soviet-expansionism in
Africa, Afghanistan and Indochina;
1990-1999: After the end of the Cold War, Emergence of
joint Chinese and Russian opposition against US-NATO
unilateralism and “humanitarian” interventionism –
Bosnia, Kosovo – and against NATO-expansion;
1999: “Erroneous” bombing of the Chinese embassy in
Following the 2002 establisment of the NATO-Russia
Council, the Chinese requested a regular dialogue to
discuss strategic perceptions, shared security threats,
and NATO activities, such as in Afghanistan.
The China-EU-US
Grand Triangle
China expressed its desire for a “strategic partnership” with the EU
in its first EU-policy paper in October 2003, when anger over the
Iraq War had reached its peak in Beijing and European capitals.
An acrimonious dispute arose over China’s demand to lift the EU
arms embargo, imposed after the repression of 1989.
The dispute helped set in motion three global strategic dialogues on
how to deal with “the Rise of China”: one between the EU and the
US, another one between the US and China and a third one
between the EU and China. The dispute is now “in coma”.
As a result, trans-Atlantic inequality has been reduced; the
relationship between Washington and Brussels has become less
unbalanced as the US has become more aware of the limits of its
military power. The Bush administration is now taking the EU more
seriously as a global strategic player.
The Galileo Satellite
Navigation System
The EU on July 28 signed contracts with a group of
Chinese companies to develop a range of commercial
applications for Europe's planned Galileo satellite
navigation system.
Although the US and EU signed an agreement on the full
complementarity and interoperability of the American
GPS system and Galileo, the Pentagon, which controls
the rival Global Positioning System is dismayed over
the EU-China Galileo cooperation.
Beijing has contributed $ 230 m to develop Galileo but
has also urged the EU to gain access to Galileo's
sensitive military data and technologies.
Shift in Global Strategic Culture
Several developments are changing the psychology of global
strategic relations:
The decline in American power and prestige as a result of:
– The bungling of the war in Iraq;
– The inability of the US to impose its will on Iran;
– US failure with North-Korea and the indispensability of China to
solve the North-Korea problem
The Rise of China and the emergence of a “comprehensive
strategic partnership” with the EU has made the US realise
that it cannot exert much influence over the future of China.
The vehement row over the lifting of the arms embargo has led
to a tentative trans-Atlantic dialogue how to jointly deal with
China, the most momentous question of our time
Why Different European and American
Approaches towards China ?
Unlike the US, Europe doesn’t have military alliances, troops
and navies in East Asia - Japan, S.Korea, Taiwan (?) European
involvements are mainly trade, investment and soft power.
The US Right is obsessed by the determination to remain the
pre-eminent military power and will not tolerate any challenger
anywhere in the world throughout the 21st century (see: Project
for the New American Century).
It is European policy to “socialize” China into the international
institutional order by offering it the full range of assistance and
collaborative programs.
American policy is ambivalent. Trade and investment are huge
but aid programmes are mostly carried out by private
Governmental policy always shifts from engagement to
confrontation and v.v.
Optimists, Pessimists and the Future of
US-China Relations
PRC regime:
authoritarian, insecure,
the perils of transition
US regime:
Crusading Democracy
PRC power limited
PRC aims constrained
Security Dilemma: muted
PRC power: rising
PRC aims: expanding
Security Dilemma: intense
Identities, strategic
cultures, norms: flexible
and “softening” via
institutional contact
Rigid and “hardening” via
shocks and crises
Aaron L. Friedberg, The Future of US-China Relations
Is Conflict Inevitable ? International Security, 30:2, Fall 2005
The future of the U.S.-China relationship will be determined by
the collision between the two opposing sets of forces.
The allegedly peace-producing mechanisms emphasized by the
optimists, on the other hand, are, at best, weak reeds and more
likely illusions.
The notion that dialogue between U.S. and Chinese
government officials will lead to a convergence of norms,
identities, and strategic cultures is laughable, if not downright
Navigating the dangers of a transitional period in China could
well be among the greatest geopolitical challenges facing the
United States in the years ahead.
There is every reason to hope that U.S.-China relations will
follow a smoother and more peaceful course. But neither
history nor theory can provide any assurances that it will be so.
Javier Solana’s hardly veiled
Criticism of the US
“Multilateralism and respect for international law are
fundamental tenets of the EU's foreign policy. And I
know the same is true for China. Together we need
convince our other partners to put these principles at
the centre of their foreign policy too.” (Speech at CEIBS,
Shanghai, 6-9-’05).
Asked to compare China’s relations with the US and
the EU, a senior FM official said: “Our relations with
the US are candid, cooperative and constructive. Our
relations with the EU are comprehensive, strategic –
i.e. longterm, beyond ideology and not disturbed by
minor issues – and a partnership, i.e. equality”.
Different European and American
Approaches towards China
United States:
– “Congagement”
– Arrogant, domineering
– Security Challenge;
– Military alliances – Japan
– Trade disputes handled
by threats, sanctions
– M&A hostile; politicized
– US has little regard for
international law
– Use a megaphone
European Union:
– Engagement
– Equality
– Strategic partner in
mulipolar world
– Non-traditional security
and soft power
– Compromises
– Relatively trouble-free
– In its foreign policy, China
– like EU respects
international law
– Use the telephone